School safety bill hearing is today

LINCOLN – A bill that would give Nebraska public school districts the budget flexibility to improve and install safety measures in school buildings will be heard by the Legislature’s Revenue Committee on Thursday, March 7.Omaha Sen. Rick Kolowski introduced LB346, which would allow school boards, with a two-thirds majority vote, to levy one cent above the existing $1.05 levy limit to fund school security measures. What form such measures might take will be decided at the local level by each school board, each school district.“LB346 gives local control to school districts to protect students by updating security systems to meet that district’s individual and unique needs,” said Kolowski. “It’s about making students, school staff and parents feel safe and secure in school, and giving school districts the ability to provide that security.”Kolowski knows the issues schools face in terms of security: he served as principal of Millard West High School for 15 years before his retirement.A numerous and diverse group of supporters will testify in favor of LB346, including representatives from the Nebraska State Education Association, the Nebraska School Board Association, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, the Rural Community Schools Association, the National Rifle Association and representatives of the Lincoln and Fremont public schools.The hearing before the Revenue Committee will take place at 1:30 p.m. in State Capitol Hearing Room 1524.